History of the Silver Mug Soccer Invitational Tournament
The very first Tournament was held in February, 1979. Games were played at Sunset Park on approximately five (5) soccer fields. Fields were full of gopher holes, yet the teams and players had a great time. The Tournament was won by a local team LATINOS S.C. which was primary made up of players who were employed at Caesar’s Palace. Sponsoring this event was Nevada Beverage Company a local distributor for “Budweiser”.
Two years later in 1981 the Tournament moved to the Silver Bowl Soccer Complex across from Sam Boyd’s Stadium where more playing space provided for an increase of teams in this Tournament. Now known for it’s prestigious award given to all of the Tournament Player Champions as the “Silver Mug”. This pewter mug represents the Tournaments greatest award even today.
From 1981 through 2006, or twenty-five (25) years … this Tournament continued play at the Silver Bowl Soccer Complex. Teams increased from twelve (12) in 1979 to approximately seventy-eight (78). Competition between teams grew as both Men’s and Women’s teams from all around the United States began to participate. The Tournament was often referred to as the “Bud Cup” for the continuous sponsorship provided by Nevada Beverage Company since day one.
Since 2006, the Silver Mug Tournament had moved to some new fields in West Las Vegas. These fields known as “Kellogg-Zaher Park” uses a combination of both astro turf and grass. Seven (7) turf fields (Fields # 1 thru # 7) lineup together from one end to the other with the four (4) grass fields (Fields # 8 thru # 11) picking up the end. A total of eleven (11) fields.
Throughout the years, the Tournament has seen teams from as far as Countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Samoa, South America and parts of Europe. Individual players who have once or twice participated in this prestigious event found themselves on a State, Regional or Select Championship Team, the United States Olympic Team and even on the World Cup representing the United States.
Women World Cup players such as Judy Foudy, Brandi Chastian, Cici, Briana Scurry, Shannon McMillian, Lori Farr, Shannon Boxx and many more played in this Tournament. Men’s World Cup players such as Eric Wynalda and music entertainer Rod Stewart, all played in the Silver Mug Soccer Invitational Tournament.
Today, team fans and spectators at the Silver Mug Tournament has grown between 6,000 – 8,000 at this event. Increased exposure from various Soccer Media, publications, United States Senior Amateur Association, USSF etc. have all recognized this event as one of three in the United States whose caliber of teams have emerged to be a “pro level” event.
There are those who refer to the Silver Mug Soccer Invitational as the “National Open Cup” in reference to the extreme high quality of players competing.
The year 2014 will represent our 36th year, and we welcome everyone in the City of Las Vegas, Clark County and the State of Nevada to come out and visit us at this event to be held on February 15 – 17, 2013.